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Ta muchly for visiting. Here you will find musings, ramblings and a few statements of fact. They say women can have it all, motherhood, careers and crazy social lives. But what if we don't want it all? What if we want some of it sometimes and other bits not so often? Here I'll mix and match as the whims and energy levels take me. Your tuppence worth is always welcome!

The mask...

The mask...
Life is for loving and living no matter what it involves...

Monday, 31 January 2011

The hunt for Victoriana

About three days ago I had a fantastic flash of inspiration for what I'd blog about come the weekend. Then in typical baby-mama style the idea got up and walked away before I could pin it down. Pesky thing. Sometimes I think it is amazing that I get anything done at all. I have so many balls juggling up in the air that I could go run away to join the circus. Now there is a plan, although they would probably want me to juggle chainsaws and as I value my hands, not to mention head and arms it is a plan best put to one side.

So rather than the thing I was going to talk about I'm going to whitter on about junk instead. Not just any junk but victoriana stylee-junk. See the thing with wee ones in the house is that nothing is sacred. In the three years we've had them we've lost glasses, plates, wedding presents, photo frames and teeny tiny fragments of our sanity. Sadly the sanity cannot be replaced by scouring flea markets, car boots and charity shops but the other stuff can. And it is with this mission in mind that the great victoriana hunt began. Given that we have limited funds and an in-house wrecking crew we're not after vintage wonders to make collectors green with envy. All we want is a mix'n'match hotch potch of dishes, cutlery and bits'n'bobs that fit with our victoriana theme. So if it has that funky faded gold trim on the edge, flowers or swirls and it looks like it came from 1900 then it is in the bag.

The plates that tempt us when small hands have played grab & smash

What is it with charity shops these days? Car boots and flea markets more often than not have the odd plate or dish way cheaper than charity shops and they have to buy the stuff they sell. Go figure. I know giving to charity is A Good Thing but some of them have obviously seen one too many episodes of Antiques Roadshow and a little knowledge is clearly a dangerous thing when it comes to pricing the goodies donated. This isn't Cash in the Attic folks, this is an almost ugly old plate worth tuppence so why mark it up for £3.99? I can buy a new one in Habitat for that. Pff! My favourite port of call at the moment is a guy at the open market who sells a big old mess of brick-a-brack for 50p a pop. He's always worth a rummage. Good word that, rummage, suits the action perfectly. For some reason no matter where I look there is an abundance of tiny plates and a total lack of big dinner plates. And post New Year no one has champagne flutes, maybe everyone broke theirs like we broke ours on NYE. So the hunt goes on.

This miss-match approach to dishes and associated breakables is highly recommended. If you have tiny tots you won't care if - or rather when - they smash the lot to smithereens and lose your cutlery down the drain in the garden. It is liberating this freedom from care and makes all our lives a whole heap less stressy. Not that we encourage destruction. Not one bit of it. But let's face it, it happens and better that it happens with a shrug rather than a total breakdown. And as a Brucie bonus it is fun. Dinner parties look fab with nothing matching at the table; I like to call it eclectic-chic. We might buy junk but it's funky junk with a style all its own and the re-cycle/re-use philosophy polishes our environmental halos to a Brasso shine.

Not that I don't have moments of longing. My champagne tastes came to the fore when I spotted a gorgeous plate that turned out to be part of a dinner set that turned out to be Clarence Cliff. A snip at £950. Hmm. Maybe leave that one for someone else to enjoy. So the hunt for Victoriana is still on, and given our breakage rate is likely to be ongoing. I like this. It keeps me busy and is one ball I don't mind juggling.

the gorgeous and desirable Clarice Cliff

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